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Author Topic: Is the NAP Necessary?  (Read 26103 times)

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blackie

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 06:04:43 PM »

Well shit, looks like the beginning of time was the only real moment when non-initiation of force was even a possibility.  The moment the first organism bit the second one, it was all over.
For now NAP only applies to humans, or persons. So prolly from the beginning of time until humans came into the picture.

"He started it!"

Everyone always claims someone else started it.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 06:33:17 PM by blackie »
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patrickj

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 06:37:36 PM »

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Yeah, but then time becomes an issue.  What if I consent to be governed today, but change my mind next week when I feel like car-jacking someone?   At some point the government has  to initiate force against people, because that's goverment's job.  That's what distinguishes governors from leaders. 

In a government run by consent, some sort of contract would have to be created outlining the parameters of the governance.  If a person agrees that X crime rewards X punishment, then when they commit that crime they have broken contract with their government.  As far as i'm concerned, if i sign a contract saying i will pay bob barker 27 cents every tuesday, that contract doesn't expire at some later point in time of my choice.   If you sign a contract agreeing to be governed, why would the contract ever expire unless explicitly given a timeline in the contract?

In this example, government is not any different than something like a bank loan.  If they are not governing people against their will, then they are somewhat of a business.  A business that specializes in full spectrum organization of a persons life.  So if a bank loan doesn't nullify itself over time, why would a governance contract?
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Rillion

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 06:55:47 PM »

In this example, government is not any different than something like a bank loan.  If they are not governing people against their will, then they are somewhat of a business.  A business that specializes in full spectrum organization of a persons life.  So if a bank loan doesn't nullify itself over time, why would a governance contract?

Because a loan is an agreement to pay back a specific amount of money at a specific rate.  "Being governed" is giving someone permission to exert force over you in a huge  variety of circumstances that I don't think could possibly be covered in a contract.  And if you granted someone permission to exert force over you at all, then they will come to be seen as the only legitimate wielders of such force, which contributes to their corruption and the eventual lack of any consensual agreement, which takes us right back to where we started. 
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patrickj

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 07:02:12 PM »

I'm not claiming that its viable, likely, or rational... i'm only claiming that it is possible for someone to contract into governance, and that contract be upheld.  You could also contract for governance in specific areas of your life, instead of all.  Seems like were pretty far off topic.  The point is, government can coexist with the NAP situationally
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jeffersonish

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2009, 04:19:26 AM »

The way I see it, the NAP is the basis of libertarian principles. I personally view the NAP and thus libertarianism as a very strong guiding philosophy.

I think the example of doing harm to someone raping your sister is a perfect example. I think the NAP means only she has the right to defend herself or employ others to do so. By employ, I don't mean hire necessarily. It would be within your rights to help her defend herself if she asked you to and you would still be adhering to the NAP. Further, you can reasonably assume from the circumstances if you see it happening that she would want you to help her defend herself even is she can't speak for herself at the moment. If you can help her in the moment, it follows you could assist her or act as her agent to take retribution too.

This is an example of where I part ways with the NAP. I am a minarchist because I think there are times when a minimal government is the best way to handle a situation. Handling the retribution of violent crime vs. self-defense to fight off an aggressor when they are doing the aggressing, is one of those situations. After listening to the Market for Liberty, I could meet the anarchists half-way and say, if you both belong to a private arbitration court and stipulate to using them either before the fact by contract or after, in lieu of the government court system, you would be allowed to.

I understand the whole give em an inch thing, but maybe if that system were implemented, it would preserve a maximum of liberty short of complete anarchist liberty for an even longer period than our Hamilton-influenced Constitution preserved the liberty we had in this nation when it was founded. (it wasn't really close to the minarchy I have in mind, but it was far more free than the European governments of the time.) The majority of our freedoms have been taken away during the Civil War, WWII and the Great Depression... until we had a double-whammy of the Iraq "War" followed by the major recession we're experiencing now.

anyway, I hope I'm making sense. I'm tired and going to bed now.
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yamnuska

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2009, 04:25:54 AM »

No, but I wonder if some form of government must exist if you don't subscribe to it. If the NAP is absent does government not fill the void? It's a default people gravitate towards.
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Alex Libman 14

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2009, 04:27:20 AM »

NAP isn't an axiom, it's a scientifically-verifiable competitive advantage.

The only (meta)axiom is nature (i.e. evolution), through which everything else can be logically proven.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 04:29:38 AM by Alex Libman 14 »
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mikehz

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2009, 09:39:56 AM »

Say what you will about it, when you reach my age you learn to appreciate a good NAP in the afternoon.
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"Force always attracts men of low morality." Albert Einstein

Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2009, 09:45:07 AM »

Is the Non Agression Principle a necessary component of Libertarian thought?

I ask because untill I came here roughly a year ago, I had never heard of the NAP, yet I have considered myself to be a libertarian since early high school. As a result, I have never defined my political thought by non aggression, or tied myself down to its conditions.

So, does libertarianism need the NAP, or is that a component of one of many different political philosophies that incorporate libertarian thought?

No. In fact, it confuses the issue: Libertarians gain popular support from their use of the term, since who wouldn't claim that it was wrong to use violence against somebody unless they had or were going to use it against others? However, libertarians define aggression in an idiosyncratic way. For instance, if I leave my bike outside my house whilst I go in to collect something, and then you get on and cycle off libertarians would probably say that I can use a degree of force to stop you. However, in what way are you aggressing against me? You haven't laid a finger on me, just stolen my bike.

Likewise, in what way is fraud an instance of aggression? Fraud is a way of taking a person's property without their consent (because the conditions under which the property was taken were not the conditions consented to), but does it involve violence? Of course not.

Now, each of these cases involve violations of rights, but not the use of violence against a peaceful person. So, only if libertarians define aggression as "the violation of rights" can they say they think force should only be used to prevent aggression, or that various activities that don't involve violence can be called "aggression." This may be a good, workable definition, but it is still idiosyncratic.

Further, Ayn Rand said that the reason that the initiation of force should be prohibited is that she thought that rights could only be violated by the initiation of force. The above examples show that claim to be false, but we can go further: Even if we were to accept that rights can only be violated by initiations of force, it doesn't follow that all initiation of force should be prohibited. It only follows that rights violating initiations of force should be prohibited. If she had said that all initiations of force violate rights, her conclusion follows. But she didn't.

So, though they could still define aggression as "violations of rights," I suppose, I think libertarians should concentrate primarily on rights: Our property rights, first of all over ourselves (self-ownership), over previously unowned resources we mix our labour with, and in things we acquire from voluntary exchanges from others.

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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2009, 09:54:06 AM »

You could say the NAP conflicts with government, but it doesn't necessarily.  Its possible to have a government that is only limited to those who consented to be governed.  In that case, nobody has been agressed upon. 

How do distinguish these "governments" from other institutions? Firstly, this would mean that you are your house mate could be citizens of different governments, that there could be as many "governments" within an area as there are people, because each person signs up to a different "government."

Second, if these governments provide services, and allow others to compete with them in the provision of those services, what makes them any different from private firms that provide those services? If I can get my rights protected by your consensual "government" and I can get them protected by a security firm, then why is your "government" a government, and not just a security firm?

In the end, this consensual "government" idea is no different from market anarchism.
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freeAgent

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2009, 01:22:31 PM »

I don't believe that most libertarians, myself included, follow or believe in the NAP.  Support for the existence of any sort of government is a violation of the NAP, leaving NAP only to the anarchist wing of the movement.  I do think the government has a role in providing a justice system, because I don't believe there can be justice without coercion.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2009, 01:40:43 PM »

I don't believe that most libertarians, myself included, follow or believe in the NAP.  Support for the existence of any sort of government is a violation of the NAP, leaving NAP only to the anarchist wing of the movement.  I do think the government has a role in providing a justice system, because I don't believe there can be justice without coercion.

I'm not sure what you mean by "coercion" here, or why you think justice cannot be provided without it.

There are plenty of prominant minimal statists, or people who have claimed to be such, who also claim to hold to the NAP or some similar thing (non-initiation of force): Take Ayn Rand, Tibor Machan, David Kelley, John Hospers, etc.

Of course, I think they are wrong, and they should either admit they support aggression or become anarchists (and I reckon Hospers really is an anarchist), but there you go!
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blackie

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2009, 01:56:40 PM »

http://www.ncc-1776.org/whoislib.html

Quote
Who is a libertarian?


Zero Aggression Principle ("Zap")

    "Zero Aggression Principle":

   A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

    Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    L. Neil Smith


    Formerly called the "Non-Aggression Principle", or "NAP"
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patrickj

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2009, 02:14:05 PM »

You could say the NAP conflicts with government, but it doesn't necessarily.  Its possible to have a government that is only limited to those who consented to be governed.  In that case, nobody has been agressed upon. 

How do distinguish these "governments" from other institutions? Firstly, this would mean that you are your house mate could be citizens of different governments, that there could be as many "governments" within an area as there are people, because each person signs up to a different "government."

Second, if these governments provide services, and allow others to compete with them in the provision of those services, what makes them any different from private firms that provide those services? If I can get my rights protected by your consensual "government" and I can get them protected by a security firm, then why is your "government" a government, and not just a security firm?

In the end, this consensual "government" idea is no different from market anarchism.

I made the point that they are pretty much the same thing.  The only differences would be that if a group of people contracted with a consensual government, they could create their own rules and leaders through democratic voting or something pre agreed upon.  For example, i could purchase a large amount of land and create my own voluntary government.  If my land became desirable, people might want to move to my community.  My voluntary government would have requirements that the community agrees upon before they move in. 

This situation is distinguished from a security firm, because its more of a private neighborhood with its own protections and restrictions than solely a protection agency. 

In any case, its a rather unlikely idea but i'm convinced that some people want to be governed. 
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2009, 02:16:40 PM »

http://www.ncc-1776.org/whoislib.html

Quote
Who is a libertarian?


Zero Aggression Principle ("Zap")

    "Zero Aggression Principle":

   A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

    Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    L. Neil Smith


    Formerly called the "Non-Aggression Principle", or "NAP"

Quote
A child learns that the use of force is wrong because its not right to hurt other people. More deeply considered, the ban on force derives from this principle: Each person owns himself.quote] - Charles Murray, What it Means to be  libertarian

Quote
Almost everyone agrees that it is proper and legitimate for a person to use force in self-defense against an attacker. The moral principle which justifies this is the libertarian principle of self-ownership. Each individual owns himself or herself.
- David Bergland, Libertarianism in One Lesson
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